Friday, December 14, 2012

Horror in Newtown

A gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. this morning. Among the dead are 18 children. According to media reports, the shooter was Adam Lanza, 20, whose mother worked at the school.

27 people were shot to death.

20 of them were children.

This year - 2012 - has been shitty for several reasons, but the cases of gun violence are spiraling out of control. It's as if the gates of Hell flung open and every murderous psychopath from Perdition now walks the Earth and slakes their hunger on innocent blood.

Another gun massacre.

Another media clusterfuck.

Another deluded, sick individual frustrated with life, carving a violent swath through the American landscape. The act of firing a gun becomes their defiant gesture to a world which somehow let them down, betrayed them, made them feel less than human.

So they enact their vengeance. Spasm of violence. Kill 'em all.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Just like a video game. Only difference is there's no restart button. The pixelated targets in video games resurrect. Real people don't.

These were children with their whole lives ahead of them, who deserved a chance to grow up. Young lives extinguished in a hail of bullets. These children had parents who are grieving now and are experiencing every parent's worst nightmare.

I'll bet in some office in Washington, the gun lobby is doing damage control. The wheels are turning as they plot and plan how they're going to spin this tragedy into a win for their side.

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Right?"

Fuck you.

You don't trot out the 2nd Amendment after one of these terrible mass killings. The gun lobby doesn't get a seat at the table this time. This is about a culture glorifying gun violence and access to guns. This is about jerking off to a cinematic bloodbath and popping a boner for Smith & Wesson. Or Browning. Or Heckler & Koch. Or whatever brand, type or caliber you use.

It's about preventing this shit from happening again.

We need, as a country, to collectively stand against civilian gun violence.

We need to keep guns from the hands of those twisted, sick bastards who shoot up schools, or movie theaters or their places of work.

We need to be more cognizant of mental illness and how to reach these people before they reenact the movie "Natural Born Killers".

We also need to make getting guns difficult - not impossible - but difficult. The screening process should be thorough for every state.

To say New Jersey's gun permit law is stringent is an overstatement. I applied for a permit and had submit to a background check. Nearly five months later the local police department issued me a State of NJ Firearms Purchaser ID card. Five freakin' months for a firearms ID card? What a load of bureaucratic red tape, I thought, until I saw what was happening across the border in Pennsylvania, where access to firearms is cheap and quick. Gun violence in Philadelphia has increased in recent years. Could there be a correlation between the ease of purchasing a firearm and the rising number of shooting deaths?

If New Jerseyans have to wait nearly half a year for a gun permit, isn't that good for the rest of America?

What about stolen guns used in mass shootings or borrowed guns? How about stiffening the penalties for anyone who kills multiple people?

We shouldn't be jaded of mass shootings, even though they're about as commonplace now as Lindsay Lohan getting arrested or Kim Kardashian saying something stupid.

We should be angry and demand action from our so-called leaders.

America has always been a trigger-happy country. Hunting and shooting are as American as your right to wear Crocs or drink Yoo-Hoo from a Mason jar. It's only when the targets become other humans have we truly gone off the deep end. Instead of a recreational activity in the great outdoors, it's a killing spree on bath salts.

I'm not saying marginalize the gun owners or hunters. They're good, rustic people. Besides, without them, how will we ever obtain muskrat jerky and venison?

No, the clarion call must go out to those who seek to do harm to others, to turn offices into killing grounds and elementary schools into slaughterhouses. These are the crazed lone gunmen, the Travis Bickels of the world who are outcasts, pariahs and misanthropes. They trudge along life without so much as a peep until one day something snaps and they rage with whizzing bullets in a cataclysmic outburst and shatter our safety and security.

Also, don't profess this incident could have been avoided if God were in our society and schools. Plenty of Christian zealots have taken up their guns and murdered in the name of Jesus. Religion as a social control has nothing to do with stemming the tide of gun violence. I can point to several cases of religious people who kill for their beliefs. Playing Monday morning quarterback with a Bible in your hand isn't going to lessen the anguish.

It's absolutely fucking senseless, and you know it.

Repeat the words in your head over and over, until you cry, tears of rage welling up.

Today 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School were killed by a gunman.

20 of those were children.

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